Chris Pappas was against giving cash to illegal immigrants before he was for it.
Friday night, Rep. Pappas was one of just 13 Democrats to join Republicans and vote to stop tax-funded stimulus checks from going to illegal immigrants. The measure failed, and the House bill, known as the HEROES Act, passed with the illegal-immigrant funding included.
Later that night, Pappas — along with his Granite State colleague Rep. Annie Kuster — voted to pass the $3 trillion legislation and send it on to the U.S. Senate. The bill passed with a narrow 208-199 margin as 14 Democrats voted against the final bill. One of the Democrats rejecting the plan was Rep. Jared Golden whose Maine district abuts Pappas’s.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the HEROES bill is “not a Christmas tree” of her party’s progressive policy goals, but rather “a very strategically planned piece of legislation that is tailored strictly to meet the needs of the American people regarding the coronavirus pandemic.”
Among the “strategic” efforts to fight the coronavirus supported by Reps. Kuster and Pappas:
- A multi-billion-dollar bailout for states like Illinois and California with massive debt burdens from unfunded pension spending;
- A $160 billion tax cut for top earners in high-tax states like Massachusetts and New Jersey who deduct more than $10,000 a year in state and local taxes;
- Aid to the legalized pot industry;
- $10,000 student-loan bailouts at a cost of $45 billion.
- $20 million in arts funding;
- $250 million to encourage increased early releases for felons.
The bill also overrides the election laws of states like New Hampshire and requires mail-in balloting and no-ID-required voter registration, not just for November 2020, but “for every future federal election.”
Reps. Kuster and Pappas declined to respond to requests for comment from New Hampshire Journal.
On Twitter, Rep. Pappas said: “No bill is perfect, but we face an unprecedented crisis. If we fail to redouble and refine our efforts, the public health risks will grow, more jobs will be lost, more small businesses will throw in the towel, and cities and towns will go bust. I’m not willing to let that happen.”
Also via Twitter from Rep. Kuster: “I voted for the #HeroesAct to provide the American people w/ crucial resources to get to the other side of this crisis & safely reopen our economy.”
Not surprisingly, New Hampshire Republicans highlighted problematic aspects of the bill:
“Granite Staters are struggling yet Ann Kuster and Chris Pappas just voted to give Blue State millionaires a tax cut funded by New Hampshire taxpayers,” said NHGOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek. “Those who don’t pay a state income tax shouldn’t be propping up other state’s income tax revenues. This pork-laden bill was pushed through by Nancy Pelosi with no opposition from New Hampshire’s Representatives. In November, we need to elect new members of Congress who will fight for New Hampshire – not California and New York.”
The Associated Press called the HEROES Act “a starkly partisan offering with no real input from Republicans.”
“On Friday night Chris Pappas, Nancy Pelosi’s most reliable proxy vote, supported a bill that will give billions in the form of checks to illegals immigrants, plain and simple,” GOP congressional candidate Matt Mowers told NHJournal. “Pappas votes with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time and supported her hyper-partisan bill even while other Democrats had the courage to oppose it. This is exactly what’s wrong with Washington, DC.”